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Smart Wife’s Perfect Yorkshire pudding recipe

Photo of a tray of perfect yorkshire puddings

Successful individual yorkshire puddings made in a fairy cake tray


We now have an even better recipe for Yorkshire puddings – these are crisp and keep their shape.

Years ago Smart Wife taught me how to make perfect Yorkshire puddings. I often ruined the joint but our individual Yorkshire puds were perfect every time. Rising like a miniature Tower Of Pisa army, they happily deflected attention away from the teeth challenging meat.

On Sunday, Danny suddenly gets serious at around six o’clock and puts on his King Of Roasts mantle. If he is cooking beef I am invited to be his Queen Of Yorkshire Puds.

There are three key tips:

1. Make individual puds – I use an individual cake/bun/mince pie tray- they rise far higher and tend to keep their shape better than one big baking tray.

2. Make sure that the oil in the pans is smoking before you add the batter.

3. Only use plain white flour.

This Sunday I used a bread making flour – white with the goodness of added grains. Big mistake!

Rather than the usual five inch high puds we got the three inch hovels that you can see in the photo. They flattened as I waved a camera at them. They tasted fine but didn’t have so much hanger appeal.

N.B. December 2 2007: I have experimented with this recipe and had great results using a heavier dish.

Smart Wife’s Perfect Yorkshire pudding recipe feeds 4 or 2 greedy people like D and me – they’re great cold with a slice of ham for breakfast)


Smart Wife’s Perfect Yorkshire pudding recipe
Recipe Type: Side dish
Author: Fiona
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 2-4
  • 110g of plain white flour
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 300ml of chilled milk (we use semi skimmed and I think that Smart Wife probably used full cream)
  • 2-3 tablespoonfuls of olive oil/ beef dripping/rape seed oil
  • Large pinch of salt
  1. Sift the plain flour into a bowl. Add the salt.
  2. Make a well in the centre and break in the two eggs. Gently whisk the eggs into the flour and gradually add the milk. I now use my stick blender to do this and it gives a much better result. Ideally, return the mixture to the fridge in a jug for half an hour to chill. If you don’t have time for that the puds will be fine, just won’t rise quite as much.
  3. Put a little oil (about 0.5 tsp) in eight wells in the cake tin and put on the top shelf of a preheated oven 220c (200c fan) for ten minutes.
  4. Quickly whisk your batter and pour onto the hot, smoking oil in the wells in the cake tin. The oil should bubble up around the batter. Speed counts.
  5. Bake at the top of the oven for 20 minutes, turning the tray around after ten minutes.
  6. Time the puds to be ready when the joint is just about to be carved so you will serve them at their crispest and best.

  Leave a reply


  1. Oooh I tried this today having never made a yorkshire pud in my life – whizzed all the ingredients in the food processor, chucked it in my muffin tins and hey presto, sublime Yorkie Puds about the height of my hand!

    Thanks so much!

  2. brightsprite

    “they’re great cold with a slice of ham for breakfast”
    Interesting that you say that, Fiona, as my daughter and I also eat them cold – even with marmalade ….. but there are some people, including daughter’s outlaw, who insist on throwing leftovers in the bin.
    What a waste!

  3. WOW! I’ll be honest; I was very sceptical about this recipe. But true to everyone’s comments it worked with amazing results and I only had the use of a shallow fairy cake tin. I’ll now be able to impress my friend; a Yorkshire Chef!

  4. Lindsay

    Hi, I struggled with yorkies for years until hubbie, who rarely ever cooked anything started having success with instant batter mix. Boo! Hiss! Have since found a REAL recipe that I works well for me, equivalent ingredients to yours but instead of the traditional well of flour, put the liquid egg into a bowl/jug first, add flour on top then whisk. Absorbs quickly and no lumps without having to whisk too hard. Think it might’ve been a Nigella Lawson recipe but not sure. I use giant muffin tins (american style) which are great for generous individual puds but have enough depth to encourage good height. Has become a bit of a speciality in no time.

  5. This worked perfectly, thanks!

  6. veronica

    Hey Tim

    I’m not Fiona but in my experience, almost all YP problems can be traced to “fat not hot enough” (assuming you are using plain white flour as Fiona specifies). The fat must be *smoking*. And don’t hang about — get that batter in the tins and get them back in the hot oven pronto! I have to say I don’t fill mine to the top — say about 2/3 full. But there ain’t no time for careful measuring 🙂 Good luck!

  7. Tim Cox

    Had the best Yorkshire pud ever in my childhood,at a family friend’s at Christmas.Have been trying to make it for years with limited success.We were just laughing because your “failed” photo is better than we’ve achieved! We’re using”all purpose unbleached,never bromated organic flour”(wheat and barley)…is this wrong? Also,you fill the batter to the top of the tin?we are home for the long weekend ,having a bit of a Yorkshire pud cookathon to see if we can finally do it,lol,any advice…they never seem to rise correctly. Tim

  8. Thanks so much for the speedy reply! I am going to try again right away! My wife’s birthday is New Year’s Eve, so that would be a good opportunity to check out the recipe. Thanks again.

  9. Hi,

    Sorry, but the recipe doesn’t seem to indicate how much batter to put into each of the muffin tins. I guess it would be “divide the mix equally into 8 parts”, but a measurement would surely be helpful. The recipe I have been using from the Doubleday Cookbook for many years states 3 Tbs per tin.

    By the way, I have been attempting to make YP for almost 30 years. I have tried various things to make them rise better, but this year’s were the biggest disaster. Someone advised me that they didn’t rise because I beat the eggs too much, so I hand wisked them and got hockey pucks! I am anxious to try your recipe (rather, Smart Wife’s recipe).

    Thanks in advance for the help!

    Steve in Los Angeles

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Steven

      The secret of good YPs is speed and heat. If you take time to spoon 3 tblsp of batter to each compartment on the tray you will have lost the heat required for them to rise. Make your batter and let it rest in the fridge in a jug for at least half an hour. Then when the heat of the oil in your pans is ssmoking hot pour the mixture into each well as fast as possible and return to the oven. I fill each one to the rim. Depending on which pan I use I gert 6-8 puds.

  10. ali foxcroft

    My son described these as ‘like eating a cloud’ – and I am so happy (not being the most successful cook!!!)to have made something that EVERYONE said were fantastic!!

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